Allowing students to do software update....??

Do you allow your students to update the motors/brains/sensor/etc on the VEX IQ? If so have your ran into any problems? And if you do not allow…why? There is discussion at our school about allowing our 5th graders to do any Updates that pop and I am on the fence on if that is the right move or not. Any feedback would be GREAT


Short answer: Yes, definitely.
Vex IQ is all about hands on learning. Having said that, the most complicated part of the robot is the brain and sensors; programming and software updates included. You can’t just give the robot kit to the kids, tell them that they are in charge, and then step back.
Show the kids how it works, let them try it on their own, but be ready to step in if they need help and start to get frustrated. Some of the kids will naturally become more skilled and will be able to help everyone else.

The Vex IQ product line is still new, but simplifying the whole software and programming experience should be the next priority. Right now it is necessary to have some adult expert that is the goto resource when there are issues with software updates, gyros, motors and the like.

Thank you so much for your input. This is our 1st year with PLTW/VEX IQ…so we are still trying to figure things out.

Yes. Per rules, kids should be able to do such actions, esp the more-comfortable programmer leads; if there are complications adults are allowed to assist. At some minor events, some hosts and/or teams have or may make it difficult (2 instances) to assist. That said, a discussion on that will take away some time, so have the older kids on the team ready with the drill of doing updates.

The rules do allow for adults to help. Vex IQ is for 8 to 14 year olds. The younger kids will be at a total loss when the robot brain says something like “missing motor port 9”, but the real problem is that the gyro on port 8 went bad. The kids will be looking at the robot thinking “What did we do wrong? All we did was change the battery”. Even if they know how to troubleshoot and replace the motor and smart cable, they won’t have a clue that it is really a bad gyro. In cases like that an adult should step in without the risk of criticism from judges or other teams.